I, unfortunately and unwittingly, started a minor Twitter flame war earlier today. Of course, there is only one way that could turn out.
— Forrester Research 2014
I will leave out who provided the tweet. Yes, I will forward them a link to my article. If they post a reply, I will update this post with a link.
My response to the comment was "if this comes true, we have failed our customers and users..." This spawned an epic, 3 hour conversation thread that I'm not going to fully recount. I will make sure all of their points are addressed.
This has, and still does, mirror my feelings. This took place at about the same time WinJS was starting to come into fashion. At that time, I had some informal numbers telling me that WinJS was not as prevalent as Microsoft was letting on. Unfortunately, I do not have current numbers as Microsoft doesn't publish this type of information.
I think back to the early 2000s. Perl was ALL the rage. It was used for everything, including webpages. The problem was that Perl was originally written for a specific purpose. It was written to be a VERY efficient string parser to enable Linux admins automate command line tasks that involved scrubbing log files. To this day, it still's still widely in use doing just that.
Soon, however, people said "PERL ALL THE THINGS!" We began to see webpages that were Perl scripts constructing a page in real-time. We began to see command-line apps that were Perl scripts that just automated calls to other command-line apps.
In the long run, Perl had this dirty little secret. It was made to be very easy to use, to be marginally forgiving, and to offer great flexibility. Larry Wall, the father of Perl, described a good programmer as being lazy. In the end, this led to bad habits, unmaintainable code bases, and large amounts of effort (and money) being spent to go back and do it right.
Guess what, that code had generally worked on all browsers, of all types, without side effects. I say generally because you do have to add CSS into the mix, and no browser universally uses it correctly.
My only hope is that this happens sooner, rather than later.